Reevaluation

meditation

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
― Gautama Buddha, Sayings Of Buddha

Well, that was a bit of a hiatus, to say the least. Hi all, I am back. Life got the better of me for a little while and because of that, I really couldn’t bring myself to blog. I did, however, write quite a bit. It just was more for myself and my own musings so I could figure out where I was. In that time I have found a steady job (go me!) at a local health food store called The Only Earth in High Point, North Carolina as well as had my figure modeling take off. I have painted, traveled, done lots of photography, learned lots of different recipes, dated a few people, and met some really interesting individuals along the way.

I also have decided to undertake my yoga teacher certification and am trying to plan my Exodus of North Carolina to greener (or more concrete) pastures of New York City. Yep, that is right… This small town girl is going to make it in the Big Apple. Why? Well, I have a few reasons. One of them being that it has been calling my name since I visited back in September of 2012. As soon as I was on the bridge and started walking on the streets, I knew I was home. The rush, the liveliness, the smells, the people, just all of it. I HAD to go back.

Another reason is because every single person I have come into contact with has asked me why the hell I was here and why haven’t I gone somewhere else. “You are too smart, pretty, cultured, amazing, [insert other reason/complement here] to be here. What in God’s name is holding you back?!?!?!” Needless to say, I really haven’t had an excuse except fear. Fear of failing, fear of the unknown, fear of making a mistake, and most of all the fear of disappointment. I have known for a very long time that, yes, I don’t really fit in around here. But, instead of just wallowing in the uncertainty, I am just going to put on my big girl britches and do it.

My final reason is because…well the opportunity has arrived, more or less. You know when you really want something, but you never think you are going to get it, so you just avoid it? Then the Universe just smacks you upside the face and goes, “HEY! YOU! This is what you want so have at it. You’re welcome.” Then you just stand there a bit flabbergasted and then you run with it because you know deep down you CAN and WILL make it happen? Yeah, that kinda happened. I am going to leave that one there for now and explain later in more detail because one blog post will not do it justice.

So, that is where I am at in life. Am I scared? Maybe a little bit. Will I let my fears get in the way of things? Hell no! I am probably the happiest I have been in a very long time because frankly, I am going after what I want. That being said, I am trying to revamp said blog, so if you see some changes ascetically, then that is why. Stay tuned, I will be writing more often now that I actually have my head screwed on properly. Namaste!

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The Meaning of Classical Art

Van Gogh Roses

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”― Leonardo da Vinci

 

So, being able to see artistic work by some of the absolute greatest artists of all time was so moving to me. I could have stayed in that museum for hours and would not have cared one bit. Monet, Van Gough, Toulouse Lautrec, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Cassatt, Picasso, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli,  Titian, Bellini, Lippi, and so many more. To be able to see every emotion and detail and not be moved is just asinine. Not to mention the gilded work from the Byzantine period. Or even the mosaics that were plopped into the  floor as if it was nothing.

So, the artists accomplished exactly what they were suppose to do. They moved me, created emotion, left me breathless, amazed and astounded me, made me study their work, and left me with a memory I will never forget. The original plan for this road trip was to go and see a Lichtenstein exhibit.  It was one of the last days we could go and see it before it was moved to a different location. Now, I like pop art, but it is no where near the shock value of classical art. I could not see any brushstrokes in Botticelli’s work. It literally looked like he took a buffer and made everything the same texture and evenness. Compare that to a painting of a hotdog or Donald duck… it’s just not the same. Those pieces are so old and valuable…that was the oldest damn thing I have ever stood in front of!

Needless to say it was the best day ever. I can die happy now, my life is complete. I will NEVER forget that day as long as I live. I did also take some mindfulness from this experience. Too often in life do we try and stick to the plan and stay on track. Not to deviate or let things stand in the way. But, sometimes it is best to get off track, slow down and just smell the roses (or oil paints in this case). Surprises are all around you, don’t be too busy to take them in or appreciate them. Appreciate your surroundings and put love into all that you do. Life is truly amazing.

Another cool thing that I did was get to see an albino squirrel in the wild (if you consider city is “the wild”), have some awesome Indian food, walk around DC and take in some of the sites and learn a lot from a really good friend. Life is full of wonders and taking it all in is just wonderful. I will be planning to go back hopefully next month at some point for a full weekend and not just a day. It will be amazing. 🙂 But for now, I will enjoy my art high and be content in my memories. Namaste!

Moving with Purpose

yoga-art-8

So, today I woke up with the urge to “exercise”.  Now, I do practice yoga on a daily basis and that is a form of exercise in some sense, but this is more like a “I want to go run on a treadmill and lift weights” kind of feeling. It boggles my mind a bit to be honest. I don’t really like to run unless its in a game of soccer, so the fact that I even want to do so is a bit strange. However, I will be honoring what my body is asking of me. If it wants me to run, then by golly I am going to do so!

Too often we ignore what our inner voice is telling us to do. This can be through cravings and feeding ourselves the wrong food, ignoring the need for movement and becoming a couch potato, drinking in excess after getting to the point where our body is telling us to stop, or even not speaking up in a conversation where you feel it is important for your feelings to be heard. We have been taught that we should have self control, not speak out of turn, not to break tradition and generally don’t rock the boat. Sometimes though rules ARE meant to be broken. We are moving from an “industrial society” into a more liberal one. More people are able to communicate their feelings and thoughts in this age of technology. We don’t have to rely on getting our news just from word of mouth, one news paper or what our preacher told us. All we have to do is go to any number of bookstores or libraries or even just look at the internet and do our own research.

This is wonderful, but also incredibly scary at the same time. Do we choose to stay with tradition and rely on what our forefathers have done, or do we break out into this new world and become a independent being? Most of the time, we just stay quite and try not to step on any toes instead of listening to that inner voice that’s telling you to bust out of your rut and be the amazing being that you are. We don’t want to step out into the unfamiliar and then get burned. Taking chances are wrong and we just need to stay the course and hope for the best. Well, this is where the “moving with purpose” comes in.

Take the time to examine your day to day routine. Are you repeating the same thing over and over again and not branching out into new territory? Have you become a creature of habit? Do you feel like you are lacking in some areas and not feeling whole? Do you eat the same general things all the time? When is the last time you tried something new or went on vacation? All of these things are important for our general health. It doesn’t just relate to keeping active,  but also to our inner well-being. So, try something new!

Instead of sitting down all day, make an effort to walk more. Change up your exercise routine and maybe try a different class. Read an author you’re not quite familiar with and expand your perspectives. Talk to that person you see all the time at the coffee shop. Try a new recipe or a restaurant you’ve never been to before. Just listen to what your inner voice is telling you to do.

“But Michelle, what if I can’t hear my inner voice? I have a disconnect with my heart and my brain. They don’t speak to one another.” Well, my best advice is to sit and listen instead of clouding your thoughts with random noise of everyday life. This means TV, cellphones, computers, video games, and the like. Sit in a comfortable place in a quite room and just listen. Breath deeply and slowly, and ask yourself what it is that you need. Eventually, you’ll start to hear what it is that your body wants. By slowing down, we are able to understand more. Thus, moving with purpose. If sitting isn’t your thing, then doing the same thing while taking a walk in nature will archive the same affects. The point is to move with purpose and not rush yourself.

So, now I am going to go strap on my running shoes and hit the gym. I am thinking this will be a regular thing from now on. I am going to shoot for 3 days a week and the rest of the time I will still be doing my daily practice. What will you do that is new today?

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”–Buddha 

Well hello there…

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

So, here we are in the beginning of the new year, 2013. So far so good on my part as I have made quite a few changes already. To start off, this blog is one of my New Years resolutions. Odd, I know… Starting a blog as a resolution might seem kind of underwhelming I am sure. However, I do have a few good reasons. I am an artist, writer, model, cook, lover of food, yogini, traveler, lover of all things vintage, fashionista and several other things (bit eclectic). I have a very open mind and an open heart, so I figured I would share my thoughts with the world. And what better way to do that? Well a blog of course!!!

So, as you see this blog will be a little bit of everything, like me. A bit of writing, some art, pictures of traveling and everyday things, things I do, who I hang out with, ect ect ect… Now that that is out of the way, I can tell you a bit more about my other “Resolutions”. On top of starting this blog, I have a list of things that I am going to accomplish in 2013. They follow as such.

  1. Stop saying no to opportunities and being scared of what others will say/think/do. 
  2. Be vegan for an entire month and then add things back in according to the macrobiotic diet (or something along those lines for the most part).
  3. Love myself as I am, even though I am growing and changing. Stay in the now.
  4. Create a daily yoga practice and continue it from here on out.
  5. Meditate on a regular basis (3-5 times a week)
  6. Travel more
  7. Live green
  8. Go back to school this fall
  9. Strengthen my spiritual practice
  10. Create more artwork and show/sell my products
  11. Learn French

There are a few others but those are the main ones. Needless to say i have quite a bit on my plate, but that is okay. I like a challenge, and this year is the year I take the bull by the horns and just run with it! Nothing is going to stop me from my goals no matter what. Everything I will do will be out of love and kindness, so that will hopefully help me out in the Karma department. So, here I am, all laid out for you. We have only scratched the surface, but there is still more to come. I hope you will enjoy this journey as much as I am going to. Till marrow, I must bid thee adieu. Image                                       Here is a picture of me (in case any of you were wondering what I look like) Good Night!